New York Times
Monday, May 19, 2014
Best Sellers list May 2014 A Collection Of Conversations A Guide to Success Vol. 1
“Setting goals makes a difference”
Actor Director Producer Malik Yoba
Jeff: Tell this young man about your ultimate career goals you set at 19, and how you saw yourself mentally. Speaking into existence your very future, because you understood the power of the tongue, and the fact of the matter regarding if you say you can, you’re right. If you say you can’t, you’re also right.
Malik: “Well you know It’s funny I was just talking to my buddy at lunch and he asked me ‘when was the first time you realized you felt famous?’ I told him junior high school. That’s because I went to junior high school, and whatever impact that had on my schoolmates, they would talk to their younger siblings about it. So when I walked around the neighborhood kids from the elementary school, around my junior high school – they knew who I was, before I knew who they were. I gave my teachers my autograph when I was 13 years old, because I was going to be famous. And, I believed that. I believed that. Then again think, and probably just an innate thing, that everybody except my other siblings you know didn’t necessarily feel the same way. But I certainly did, you know. Claiming things early as middle school but at 19 it was about – I wrote in my – on a resume that my career goals and objectives were to set far – as change in my community. My expertise was music theater film and television. So I always had this sense of bigness of life. My life was never intended to be small. I used to look at maps of the world wondering where my wife was. I didn’t think she was necessarily in the Bronx. So I think that’s a combination of the fact we traveled internationally as kids that there was definitely a worldview promoted in the house. So I think it’s a combination of all those things.”
Jeff: Now because my objective is to provide information and direction for our youth with regards to being entrepreneurs and just successful people in general, give us some jewels and insights you received growing up.
Malik: “Well my father always said, build your own generator so when they turn off the power you still have lights. My brother always said while you waiting keep creating. And for me, the way I live I happen to be you know a working actor for 20 years but I also have been an entrepreneur since the age of 8. I had a paper route from 8 years old to 16. I owned a restaurant. I had an icy – you know cart. I done all kinds of stuff. Been a bike messenger. All types of jobs. I just think that for some people it is in them an innate sense that no matter where they’re from they’re gonna strive to improve their position in the world by educating themselves as much as possible. However you do that – whether it’s reading books, going to school, asking questions. You know, interning whatever it’s going to be. But I think that you have to have a sense that your life means something and that you’re here for more than ‘I’m just going to wake up you know and go to school, get a job, sort of just blend in with everybody else’. That’s fine. Not everybody is going to stand out and be a superstar, be celebrated or that kind of thing, but I just think in general it’s about having an attitude of ‘my life means something’. I can create the future destiny. I create my own vision that I might have for myself through working hard, as cliché as that may sound, it’s true. You know I’m in Atlanta right now filming ‘Single Ladies’. I’ve been working on five projects in the last couple of months bouncing around different people’s projects. At the end of the day no matter how much I work for other people on their projects, it’s still their projects. But I have my own initiatives whether it’s real estate development, film production, music, you know, TV stuff I’m developing. I’m just always keeping my ear to the ground and my options open in terms of creating a way for myself, and to young people in particular. I didn’t go to school to get an MBA. I actually didn’t ever graduate college but I’m a big fan of education and I‘ve gotten mine – you know the way I’ve gotten it. But for those who even question I always tell people go get your MBA even if you think business is boring. At the end of the day everything is run by, anything that’s successful, any organization any – whether it’s a sports team, whether it’s a community organization, whether it’s Microsoft, Apple, whatever – you know there has to be sound business minds, business principles and there are tried and true methods of getting that done. Even if you’re a creative person, and think -ah I ain’t really into business I just wanna do art. I wanna do acting. Be a developer, or wanna make music. Whatever it is, you have to have the business piece as well. So if you’re young then you’re in school anyway or you’re going to school. I’m always telling people you might as well go ahead and get that MBA so that you have that to apply to anything you wanna do.”
Jeff: You may be wondering ‘how can I decide what it is I want to do with myself’. One, remove yourself from the crowd, getting caught up in the mix of madness, being a follower, and then instead become the leader you were meant to be. Two, drop that in the box thinking and instead of trying to fit in, try standing out!
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